Rugby World Cup: Scotland name 41-man training squad as uncapped duo included

Jared Wright
Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has named a 41-man training squad to begin preparations for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has announced an extended 41-man squad for this year’s Rugby World Cup in France.

Edinburgh back-row Jamie Ritchie captains the squad that will be trimmed to 33 players ahead of the tournament.

Townsend has picked 23 forwards and 18 backs, with only two uncapped players in the training squad in lock Cameron Henderson and centre Stafford McDowall.

Darge and Graham return

There are few surprises in the Scotland squad overall while flanker Rory Darge returns to the international set-up having missed the Six Nations through injury, with wing Darcy Graham also returning having been unavailable through injury since the turn of the year.

Full-back Stuart Hogg and hooker Stuart McInally both remain in line for a swansong in France after the experienced pair, who recently announced that they will retire after the tournament, were both selected.

Third World Cup

Prop WP Nel, lock Grant Gilchrist, Finn Russell and Hogg will all be aiming to represent Scotland at a third Rugby World Cup (all featured in 2015 and 2019).

Meanwhile, experienced lock Jonny Gray has not been included after suffering a knee injury recently, while Fraser Brown, Johnny Matthews, Magnus Bradbury and Mark Bennett are among the most notable absentees.

17 Glasgow Warriors and 15 Edinburgh players make the squad, while nine play club rugby outside of Scotland.

The training squad will gather for a training camp on May 29 to begin preparations for warm-up against France, Italy and Georgia at BT Murrayfield in July and August. Scotland also play France in an away warm-up in St. Etienne in August.

Scotland training squad for Rugby World Cup 2023

Forwards (23): Ewan Ashman, Jamie Bhatti, Dave Cherry, Andy Christie, Luke Crosbie, Scott Cummings, Rory Darge, Jack Dempsey, Matt Fagerson, Zander Fagerson, Grant Gilchrist, Richie Gray, Cameron Henderson, Stuart McInally, WP Nel, Jamie Ritchie (c), Pierre Schoeman, Javan Sebastian, Sam Skinner, Rory Sutherland, George Turner, Murphy Walker, Hamish Watson

Backs (18): Jamie Dobie, Darcy Graham, Chris Harris, Adam Hastings, Ben Healy, Stuart Hogg, George Horne, Huw Jones, Blair Kinghorn, Stafford McDowall, Ali Price, Cameron Redpath, Finn Russell, Ollie Smith, Kyle Steyn, Sione Tuipulotu, Duhan van der Merwe, Ben White

READ MORE: Gregor Townsend: Scotland’s longest-serving head coach ends speculation over his future